PHT’s Three Stars: Golden Game 1 for Vegas

30 May, 2018, 16:28 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Lightning strikes behind Las Vegas Strip casinos as a thunderstorm passes through Las Vegas

The previous best was a 12.6 rating which was from Game 7 of the eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay. On the other bench were the Golden Knights, who waited all of one year, an expansion franchise in its inaugural season that somehow stunned conventional wisdom by making a deep playoff run so quickly. None of the remaining six Stanley Cup Final games is scheduled to go head to head with the National Basketball Association.

Being able to say that I come from Las Vegas, a lot of people looked at it kind of weird when I was younger, thought I lived in a casino, and didn't really have a real house to live in.

The Capitals have repeatedly fallen short of their postseason goals during Ovechkin's career, including a heartbreaking shutout loss to Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 7 of the second round against Pittsburgh last spring. Never separated by more than one goal until the empty netter.

In addition to Nosek, the Golden Knights received goals from Colin Miller and Ryan Reaves, while Karlsson and Reilly Smith added one each from the top line. But then it was Washingtons turn to respond.

Their grip on this sports-hungry town was already strong, and the 24-hour gambling mecca will come to a standstill this week during the Cup games in the arena behind the New York New York hotel-casino and its 150-foot Statue of Liberty, which has been wearing a Golden Knights jersey since April. The Golden Knights continued to be the league's best attraction, heading into contests and during them, and they grabbed a 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals as a result.

Keeli and her mother attended a game while the Knights were in Winnipeg during the playoffs, with Keeli the only Knights fan in her section, surrounded by a sea of white that went wild as the Jets took the ice. Just an incredible story, a team that hasn't even been around for one year - and to see where the Washington Capitals are after the first two games of the playoffs, losing both games at home, it's well-documented. But Washington seemed to push past its nerves and settle into the charged atmosphere.

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"We kept battling back", Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant said. Its like a party.

For those of us who loved just about every minute of Game 1, let's hope it doesn't slow down too much.

The Capitals pressed late with Holtby on the bench, but Lars Eller flubbed a golden opportunity on the doorstep with Fleury at his mercy before Nosek sealed it with three seconds left. A long and elaborate pregame ceremony meant puck drop wasnt until 8:22 p.m.

The extravaganza was capped off by boxing announcer Michael Buffer introducing the starting lineups. Ovechkin skated in circles, antsy and anxious for the game to start. Less than a minute later, Oshie lost the puck on a wraparound attempt, but Backstrom, playing with an injured right index finger, punched it past Fleurys extended left pad.

The thing is, while you can quibble with a goal here or there (the optics on this one weren't great), it's tough to pin the high-scoring nature of that Game 1 on Fleury or his counterpart Braden Holtby. Judging by Monday night's game, Washington will struggle with the group's elite speed and tight forechecking just as the Western teams did.

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